When it comes to the circles of luxury jewelry, Michal Cadar may not be a household name, but let me tell you that as a personal fan, her CADAR brand is among the most top quality, creative and dynamic ones that are around today.
Her pieces are highly sought after and regularly sell out at select upscale retailers including Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, and her many hardcore fans clamor to get their hands on her latest designs.
Michal was born in Tel Aviv and graduated from Shenkar College there with a degree in fashion design. Her background informs her creations: CADAR is renowned for its jewels fashioned from 18-carat high polished gold, and Michael treats the material as a fabric when she’s designing.
She’s inspired by travel, nature and her African and Israeli roots.
I had a chance to sit down with Michal recently in her Midtown Manhattan showroom and learn more about her start in the business and why CADAR is a timeless and iconic brand that’s here to stay.
Q: What was your first piece and why did you choose to create that piece?
A: I met my current husband, and we started to travel a lot. I was super busy, and fashion was out of the question. He wanted to give me an engagement ring, but all the ones we were looking at looked the same to me.
I really wanted something unique and decided to design the ring myself. That’s how it all started.
Since I’m coming from fashion, and I’m not a traditional jewelry designer- I like to work with stories. The stories start all in my head and they are probably things that I see and I’m digesting. So the ring was the beginning of the first story that I’ve since added to.
Q: How have your pieces evolved over the years?
A: I kind of feel like they are layers of the stories that I’m building, it’s my story that’s built layer by layer. I always wanted jewelry to be comfortable and wearable, so that was always my goal. It needs to be soft and wearable, it needs to be not too heavy. For example, I’m breaking the gold to small pieces to make it feel like fabric, to make it feel smooth and soft. So that’s more like a technical thing, not so much of the design part, but they need to go together to make it happen.
Q: Travel is a source of inspiration for you. Which destinations inspire you the most?
A: I recently moved to Miami and one of the last groups of the roots collection is based on the crocodile, the Origin collection. So, it is an unconscious inspiration. The next new collection, which is something very very deep in me from really early childhood, is going to be shells, I am living on the beach right now and I see shells every day. But also, I grew up collecting shells for my father who was a sculptor. So I have it in me, seeing it, and it’s part of the story.
Q: What do you see as the upcoming trends in jewelry today?
A:. It’s funny that I’m saying this because this is my specialty and what I do, but I feel like as a trend that people are more inclined towards gold jewelry. There will always be people who will wear more diamond pieces, but it’s less and less.
As a fashion designer, coming from this world, I feel like I see more and more of the Schiaparelli bold look and less of the delicate pieces. And definitely more pinky rings. But it’s also more of your character, what moves you.
Q: How do you define timeless jewelry? What are the characteristics?
A: When I look at a piece after five years of owning it and still think it’s amazing, then it’s timeless.
Q: Where do you buy jewelry that is not your own?
A: I was collecting vintage jewelry before I had my own line, and that is actually connected to the question before, what timeless jewelry is. So I do have a lot of vintage pieces that I love.
Q: Can you share advice for buying the perfect piece of jewelry?
A: I do like to wear pieces that are versatile and that I can wear all day and then also wear at night.
I also feel like jewelry that lights you up- it can be diamonds that catch the light, or it can be a nice choker lighting your neck and face by reflecting the light- I love that. So, my advice for day and night would be, as long as you can light your face with the jewelry, you are adding to your look, and you look much more beautiful. Jewelry needs to make you happy!
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